Published Feb 10, 2015Despite a long and celebrated career, Los Angeles-based DJ and producer John Tejada's third full-length album for Germany's Kompakt Records may be the strongest representation of his well-crafted ideas to date. Not to say that Tejada hasn't been thematically focused on his albums before, but there is a deeper than usual sense of connectivity between the songs on Signs Under Test.
Whether that is because of the hardware-based equipment he works with (most notably a tape delay unit that adds a wobbly texture to many of the songs) or just his careful attention to the details that bring the subdued melodies, woozy synths and meticulous percussion programming that are the foundation of many of his tracks together, it's a current that runs through the album. Tejada's guideposts aren't dictated strictly by the dance floor, which allows the veteran producer the space he needs to craft songs that work in a variety of situations. Cuts like "Heave in Sight," "Beacht" and "Rubric" breathe and sway with an emotive undercurrent that is one of the basic concepts in Tejada's approach.
In an era when so much electronic music can feel here today and gone tomorrow, Tejada's Signs Under Test comes across differently — there is a timeless quality to the album, one that suggests it will still be as relevant and appreciated long after many of its contemporaries have faded away. (Kompakt)